tv [untitled] October 21, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
rything that has to do with their living. we're talking about a lack of any rent control guaranteeing comparable housing at the current rent-controlled rate. we're talking about demolition and building in environmental repercussions including noise and toxic pollution as well as massive increases in traffic. we're talking about a massive population increase which the speaker before me just alluded to. we're talking about towers constructed in a major fault zone. we're talking about destruction of animal and plant habitat. here we have developers who do not even have the courtesy to sit down with the ten acts first and talk to them.
we have the november 18 e.i.r. approval and i certainly hope that this commission will not approve such a development and such a complete disregard to human beings and their needs. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you. >> hi, my name is john and i own the parkmerced shopping center in parkmerced. i think the project is doable, but as a small owner of a small shopping center that has been there for 60 years, my certain is that we're able to co-exist and that we are able to survive with parkmerced. i think they're making the effort, but i just want to make
sure that they include us with their plans. thank you. president miguel: thank you. aaron goodman, dennis norgton -- >> my name is dennis norrington, i'm the longest tenant in parkmerced. i have addressed the planning commission before. i lived in parkmerced for 64 years, 53 at my current address. i want to speak today to two points that i think are important and should be included in the plan which are currently not part of it. first of all, is that the rights of the tenants who will be displaced by this plan, their right under rent control will not be protected unless a special written document is included in the plan. under the ellis act, this has to be done. i have discussed this with people down at the rent control and stabilization board and
they are very adamant about this that without a special document protecting the rights of the tenants who will be displaced protecting the rights under rent control, they will lose those rights. and even if they are offered new units by parkmerced, it will be in a vastly higher rent which few of the displaced tenants would be able to afford. secondly, i want to speak to the issue of seismic problems. there is a whole section in the report that has been prepared pages b.n. 1 to b.n. 9. under this document, it details the vulnerability of parkmerced to our earthquake shaking, the tendencies of liquidfication of the soils and many other aspects. there is a seismic hazards mapping act that would require
a geotechnical investigation and consideration of retrofitting before any plan goes forward. as far as i understand, this is not present in the planet. so these are the two points i'm making, tenants rights protection under rent control and seismic retrofit qualifications, thank you. president miguel: thank you. >> this is my statement, commissioners, this evening, on initiation, two documents for your review. parkmerced is a visible site seen from many views throughout the city. parkmerced's towers break the sky plane repeatedly and visual within and outs the adjacent neighborhoods. there is no need to protect the sky plane has has been stated by the architect and developer. there are numerous views which already challenge this motion. the master plan project also
jointly impacts visually and physically on portions of pars's original outline of the historic neighborhood district. the current work on the open space directly impacts open space that was made available for the residents initially on parkmerced's development due to initial density of the plan development and the need for a community center. they effect transit, traffic, and housing is a key indicator of visual impact of the proposed heightened density issues both projects will have on the existing residents adjacent to parkmerced. parkmerced's streets are enjoyed by many who stroll along the landscape and sidewalk areas daily for exercise and quiet enjoyment of the community shared and open landscape design. it is without question of national instance and its layout, urban planning and landscape design by an architect. what is missing from meeting and hearings and the presentations is a discussion
about the report and the interior landscape courtyards. in a memo submitted 209 planning department on may 5 on behalf of the developer, it was noted as a solution to the conundrum that seems to be recurring about whether the court yards are public or private in both the existing and proposed plans. i suggest you state that we label the areas simply court yards in the existing and proposed dramas. these court yards are just as exquisitely designed as st. francis woods and represent shared communal areas, hardscape and softscape elements that to date have been inappropriately eliminated from the calculations by the e.i.r. that has been submitted to date. there is no factual review of the soundness of the existing
units or the seismic units of the towers or the transit that would solve the transit problems out will which is dealing with the intersections. without those types of solutions and effort to really address these issues, we are inadvertently and directly affecting low and middle of course renters in the city and county of san francisco and a lot of people that are students, disabled seniors and families. here are a couple of images of parkmerced taken recently. i don't know if you have the overhead on or maybe not. there you go. i'll show you some of the images of parkmerced as an open space. it far exceeds any images that being shown by the actual developer or the architect. the original architect stated initially his intent to do the towers. he thought the towers were the best things to deal with
initially. he should have stuck to his first instinct. that is the solution that would most address some of the problems we have currently. you can have preservation incentives and still retain and provide some infill in the existing units. by taking out some of the parking area or parking structures onsite. there are alternatives that have been eliminated by the planning department that should have been addressed and have not been to date in the planning department documents that have been submitted to you or will be submitted to you. initiation should not occur currently. please do not consider those amendments or initiations. president miguel: thank you. >> these are comments i made regarding the documents you received for today. my name is kathy lynn and i
live at 322 serrano drive in parkmerced. first, how can you possibly consider giving entitlements to fortress investment fund, a new owner of parkmerced. i'm told they are defendants in a $500 million mortgage fraud scam. i'm not a rent controlled unit slated for demolition. i'm a person who is slated to lose her home of 57 years along with 2,800 other people who are slated to lose their homes if this development goes through. so far we have no written document guaranteeing us future rent controlled departments, only verbal promises. suspending the protection of ceqa, environmental guidelines for this entitlement process is wrong. this process involves regrading of the entire site and will cause extreme environmental stress to the land. there will also be an expenditure of enormous amounts of water and gas to accomplish
this. massive destruction of plant, animal, and human habitat will also result. by not allowing protests for demolition of individual residential dwellings, you are taking away the rights of present, future tenants and residential owners. this provision does not appear to extend to businesses. no adequate notification of hearings by parkmerced has been given to residents. no resident responded to the entitlements issue because no resident knew about it. the residents are not owners, our lives will be affected 20 to 30 years of endless construction, exposure to toxic and noise pollution in one direction, sfsu will be constructed a massive creative arts building. this will take away valuable open space, sports facilities. no notification for this property or development was ever given to any of us.
the other direction parkmerced -- president miguel: thank you >> please read the rest of my comments. president miguel: thank you. >> thank you. >> please put me in the procedures. president miguel: please your time is over. thank you, your time is over. your time is over. >> the quality of life that i have now at parkmerced. i love it and i would love to live there. thank you very much. president miguel: terrence faulkner, gene hawke. >> take a look at the earthquake maps of san francisco, the color coded maps. i consulted them. level nine, the worst is the coastal strip of san francisco. that includes lake merced,
parkmerced, the whole strip along western sunset and western richmond. it's literally the worst place to build high-rises. to approve it, frankly, you're setting up a disaster. the areas of the western sunset, etc., are much more dangerous than the areas that were devastated during the 1906 earthquake. their mainly level seven and six in danger. parkmerced is a very light violet, the highest level nine danger. it's literally the worst place that it could be done. parkmerced is within two miles of the san andreus fault, the fault that gave us the 1906 earthquake and fire and the loma prieta earthquake and also
may well have had something to do with what happened in san bruno. president miguel: thank you. >> i wanted to address the piece about -- >> can you speak into the microphone. >> i wanted to talk to you about the public notification that you mentioned, the public hearing, and your planning commission meetings. yes, i would like to urge you
to please contact all of the tenants and the renters in parkmerced so that they, too, can come and attend these meetings. also, there are so many individuals who are seriously disabled and elderly and cannot make it down here. we would like to know if there is a way that you can have the meeting out there. if you have that meeting at parkmerced, many more people can attend. also, we have outlining neighborhoods all around us who want to weigh in on this question, also. as far as coming from parkmerced myself, i have spoken to many of the people in my block 23 and 22. they all oppose this. they could not be here tonight, but they asked me to represent them. they want this stopped because they feel that there is a great need of culture and history and parkmerced has both. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you.
anyone else whose name i called? >> should i start now? president miguel: yes. >> good evening, commissioners. parkmerced has been my home for the last 17 years since 1993. the project presented by the sponsor, i can only mention a few here. this environmental fund report does not show that this project will have on the current over 7,260 parkmerced residents' health and quality of life. i am convinced that if this project is approved, it will cause me and my family to get sick by the pollution and care contamination released by the constant demolition and construction around my home for years to come. even 3,200 existing units are
kept as they are now and 5,679 new units are built, this alternative is unacceptable to me for the same reasons. according to phase one of this project, the buildings will be built from 2010 to 2015 around building number 40 where i live. please ask yourself how would you like to live in a massive construction and demolition site for the next 20 to 30 years? would you expose your own families to asbestos and other cancer-causing substances produced by air pollution and excessive construction noise. the san francisco planning department, why do they want to destroy the building avenue and bringing a train inside the complex that will cause so much distraction, noise and pollution in our beautiful avenues and street of
parkmerced. 8, 900 units in a place where there were 3,221 units before, i think it's not possible. there is only so much density that can be placed in a predetermined space. try to pour two gallons of water in a one gallon container. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you. >> yes, i'm a resident of parkmerced since 1959. parkmerced recently announced that there is a new owner of parkmerced. parkmerced has been reputed to be in default on their alone of half a million dollars to deutsch bank and is now trying
to resuscitate the investment. stellar management was no longer able to conduct this redevelopment project. this new arrival of fortress investment group and their affiliates in the proce ownership clearly is not a minority ownership. they are a majority ownership and this entire project should be rescheduled and started anew. it should be stopped in its track at this point until it can be determined that there is a financial responsibility on the part of the new people to carry out this project and give support to the various representations that have been made so far with this project. this new partner needs to be brought into the process. frankly, you should go back to square one and start all over again. president miguel: thank you.
>> good evening, commissioners, eric brooks here representing san francisco green party and our city. i just want to speak in strong opposition to moving forward, strong opposition to the e.i.r. and the project itself. the rent control is a key issue, if you guarantee current tenants rent control for the rest of their lives, it's not going to guarantee rent control on the units themselves. that is not guaranteeable until we have a state law passed to make it possible. that's a huge issue. the parking is ridiculous. to continue in the 21st century to 1-1 parking and this project increases parking is absolutely absurd when we have a global warming crisis happening. that can't continue. the opposition is too high for this to move forward as well.
and another issue that is still not considered as done, we need to, with the global warming issue happening, we need to focus strongly on not doing demolition when we can figure out ways to do retrofits instead. this plan claims to be green. it's not green, especially in an immediate sense on global warming gases, greenhouse gases when you factor in what it takes to rebuild what you demolished, the energy going into the cement, the emissions coming from the cement and all of the other activities. so that's not factored in and it needs to be. the other issue is just that to me, one of the first issues that our city ever worked on was against demolitions for profit and that's essentially what this looks like is get rid of a bunch of rent control housing, replace it with housing that is not going to
remain rent control so you can jack up your return on investment. other people have raised the issue of the new owner. there is no guarantee of regional transit connections yet. that is really crucial. i just want to repeat that it's premature to send anything forward right now. some of us that are following two or three, four different land use issues at once would like to get sleep once in a while and i'm sure some of you would as well and when we got well-paid developers and they're contractors and attorneys able to rush these things through over and over again, we're constantly sweating losing our breath and not able to follow the ball. so please don't move this forward, thanks. president miguel: is there any additional public comment on this item? vice president olague: you know, mr. president, if i may, because you guys keep doing that, the applause things after anybody speaks, you prolong this process. if you would allow them to
speak and the commission to do their job, we can get through this, so i'm asking you to please stop applauding after everyone speaks, thank you. president miguel: is there initially public -- additional public comment on this item? [inaudible] >> good name, i'm with the affordable housing alliance, the famous burma shave ads, you see one and another and another and all three, i feel like a set of these billboards coming and talking to you two minutes once a month except the billboards are way too far apart so you don't really ever get the message. we're being told that we're not going to lose over 1,500 rent controlled units here because the new units are going to be
rent controlled and so the question that we have is how is that going to be done and it seems premature, do we initiate until we have solved that problem. it's a difficult problem and there are really two separate overlapping but independent parts of the problem. the first is the palmer case and others which have interpreted it. an act says that a public agency cannot control the rents on new construction except under certain circumstances. the language is quite broad. at the time the law was passed we were involved in fighting it and we raised a flag, hey, this is not just an anti-rent control law you're about to pass, but inclusionary zoning laws, bonuses, a lot of stuff is in question. the palmer case came around later and the court said no inclusionary zoning law for rental housing. it's a violation. so if you can't have inclusionary housing laws for rental housing, how are we going to control these rents? how are we going to do it
relyly? we can come up with -- reliably, we can come up with a scheme but we need something here. we have two separate acts that have separate requirements. the ellis act says a public agency can't require a landlord to continue to offer rental units as rental. here we're going to have some kind of agreement that the landlords are doing that. in a case that just came out in july and the supreme court denied a re-hearing -- president miguel: thank you. >> one more burma shave ad? president miguel: thank you. you may submit anything as you know, sir. >> the court said we're not going to look at the agreement. it is an unwaveable right, you're out. president miguel: thank you. is there additional public comment on this item? if not, public comment is closed. it's to the commission on
initiation. commissioner moore. commissioner moore: i would like to ask mr. switzky, have we asked in the last five years ever initiated something prior to an e.i.r., and if so, could you please state the project for me. >> i believe that we have, but i don't believe that initiation requires environmental certification. >> you did it recently on the shipyard project. you initial before you take action on the certification. that's pretty routine. commissioner moore: is that correct, city attorney? >> hold on. hold on. >> kate stacy in the city attorney's office. final certification of the e.i.r. is not required prior to
initiation. commissioner moore: thank you. i was interested in some of the disclosure aspect critical issues in the e.i.r. which in that sense would foreclose initiate planning zoning map when i know a plan changes because it is not feasible. that is another issue. i would put in support of what the previous speaker said to the awkward position we are in relative to state and case law. that is indeed the hawkins act which we have gone over a number of times coupled with what palmer and embassy and los angeles have presented us with. so there will be no development agreement or anything the city can do to override difficulties unless we or staff starts to engage experts to see what state law can do or state law
can change relative to those guarantees. i ask that staff consult with experts to take this issue forward and provide guarantees which allow us to look at this project with the responsibility we have as city planning commissioners. generally i would say that the project, and i have said it before, is quite strong in its plans. it's very weak in its process. i have said that before. it's a strong document. it needs significantly more discussion and examination. it has only been presented over the last two years twice. and while i think there was general support for the conceptual ideas, as we're now moving through the sustainability plan and all of the six documents which are here in front of us, i believe it requires significant more time for me to understand the detail. this is typical for how
treasure island, how bayview hunters point and any of the other large projects have been handled and i would put this project into the same category relative to impact and change. and that does not say that i am not supporting it. i just believe that i personally like to know more about it and form my opinion based on information i need to have in order to pass responsible adjustment. president miguel: commissioner olague. vice president olague: initially i was feeling ok about going forward with the initiation today, but there is still more information and i'm sorry i didn't get a chance to talk to ms. mullens and others. i was away for a couple weeks so i didn't get a chance to talk to people from the development team to issue my concerns as far as this initiation today is concerned and i just feel really and truthfully, i felt a little bit
pressured, actually, to support the initiation. there is always the justification of, well, you initiate, you're not voting for the project, it's just inform. it's moving everything forward on november 18 and really technically less than a month away. i think that i would like to do things in the reverse order, rather than move the initiation ahead, i would rather hear first, have the hearing on the development agreement that the city has, even though that's not really our purview, it's the purview of the board of supervisors to look at this development in terms of how it addresses the housing needs of the city. we have the abag numbers, we have the housing element. we have a lot of documentation and studies that always look at what are the needs of the housing in -- housing needs in